Cabri Chaput Brick - Quebec, Canada (raw goat): This is the name that FK kitchen uses for it, so your results may vary. It’s an interesting ash-covered chevre that on first taste reminded me almost of potatoes au gratin. It had kind of a yeasty and creamy taste that yielded to potato and then a grassy or clover finish. Apparently, as it ages and the moisture leaves the cheese, the root vegetable flavor and spiciness become more prevalent, giving flavors like onion and fennel. Ours was a young brick.
Wine: Chateau de la Terriere 2002 - Beaujolais, France (Beaujolais)
Snackage: Antiqua marinated mushrooms
Constant Bliss - Greensborough, VT, USA (cow, triple crème): An American cheese in the style of Chaource. The first thing I noticed was that it smelled like peas or some other bean, a theme that continued through the first taste. It was smooth, chewy, and had a flavor that reminded me a great deal of lentils. There was a bit of a tang at the finish, but just enough so you were aware.
Wine: Chateau La Croix - Fronsac, France (Bordeaux)
Beer recommendation: McNeill’s Firehouse Ale
Paglierino - Salerno, Italy (sheep): Robert emphasized the lemony flavor of this cheese when he introduced it, but the impression I got was of vanilla, especially when paired with the accompanying Confiture L’Ardeche Egalatine Jam (made with rhododendron). I also got a lot of evergreen flavor from underneath the smooth and surprisingly soft sheep milk taste.
Wine: Chianti, Isole e Oleana 2001 - Tuscany, Italy (Sangiovese)
Pioda di Santa Maria - Ornavasso, Italy (washed-rind goat): Another solid washed-rind offering, but not so brutal as a Vacherin or Stinking Bishop. The flavor is bready, reminding me almost of a good sourdough, and the rind carries a bit of grape and woody tinge. Overall, it’s not an overpowering cheese, but it is one that you will want to talk about.
Wine: Domaine Weinbach - Alsace, France (Riesling)
Snackage recommendations: chestnuts, prosciutto, brozalla, figs
Vermont Shepherd - Putney, VT, USA (aged sheep): A fair number of you will know this well. It’s an interesting cheese similar in style to cheeses from the Pyrenees which boasts a nutty and buttery flavor. With a chunk that has too much rind, the taste swings wildly to stone or perhaps dirt. Overall, it’s very good, but the edge of the wheel tastes a little too much like New England for my liking.
Wine: Chinon - (Cabre Franc)
Torta Mil Ovejas - Cacares, Spain (soft-ripened brined sheep): Just impressions here. It’s soft, and has fruity and earthy flavors. I got grape and pineapple along with a kind of mild pepper taste from it. Proved an interesting departure from the sheep cheeses to which I’m accustomed.
Wine: Arbois En Paradis 2002 - Jura, France (Chardonnay)
Snackage: Comice pears
For those in the know, there will be no Pont L'Eveque available in the States this year. The FDA targeted the cheese and has listed it as a listeria risk.